Tuesday, June 22, 2004


I got my hair cut on Saturday for Rs 1500. The last time was in, like, February on the roof of Saraswati's house in Mysore. I sat in the sun waving to Guruji and Saraswati on their roof across the street while Patti P. sawed away at the four inches of too-red hennaed shag that hung just below my shoulders. After cutting a section off she'd hold onto it, walk off and place it in a plastic bag. (So I had no idea what she was doing). Many taboos in India about hair and haircuts: Only certain castes can cut hair and only in certain places (outside is good) because the hair itself is dirty and can defile you. Of course you have to bathe afterwords (I didn't). Anyway she ended up giving me a newscaster's bob, which drove me crazy for several weeks (what I really wanted was layas) but looked much better. And now the news:

Summer started at 8PM Sunday and not a moment too soon. Can you say *worst week in some time*? There was all the figh-ting (and what-fo') and sobbing all day Saturday and the Loneliest Father's Day Ever, in which I read the NYT, did a full practice, taught eight people and rewarded myself with breakfast at the Swedish place, sitting at my favorite table beneath the 1976 photo of King Carl Gustav XIV. I'd finished eating and outlining a piece and was putting the finishing touches on a cartoon about my miserable existence when I heard the puberteen at the counter recount in a loud whiny voice how she didn't know if she should get a Father's Day gift for her mother's fabulous boyfriend, who treated her oh-so-well and *really took care of her*. The waitress wanted to know how they'd met. Apparently someone with my exact same name and profession had introduced them while working on a piece when they (I and it) had been going out. "He never liked her that much" and "started chasing my mom right away," she said. Apparently she wasn't interested and he had to chase and chase and chase. Apparently The Cancer did not deter him. Apparently I was not losing my mind at this time last year. Mystery solved.

On Friday I ran into the Ed when I was brain-dead from three in a row followed by an interview with a celebrity. All I wanted to do was scurry in, pick up a package and run out. Ed was (still) wearing my hairdo from three years ago and proceeded to yammer at me about my nonexistent ideas when all I wanted to do was get to BBB to see what my nephew was registered for (many pages of future landfill Madam). Ed then proceeded to introduce me to the NewUberBoss as "one of our standby writers." Me who had been in there each week for eight years straight and lost my gig to a girl with a trust fund! NewBoss did not see fit to move some stuff from his right hand to his left, thus dodging my attempt to shake it. Bad sign. Bad man. Ed continued to engage me outside and who should show her....face but mine Replacement. She averted her eyes and scurried off ASAP. And I went home thinking, Mystery solved.

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